Fiona Stanley Hospital receives 295 people with flu-like illnesses in single week

Stock image.
Stock image.

AS flu season neared its peak, 295 people attended Fiona Stanley Hospital with influenza-like illnesses in a single week from August 14 to 21.

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) said it was not too late for people to be protected from the four of the deadliest flu strains this year by being vaccinated.

This year’s jab include swine flu, and influenza strains from Hong Kong, Brisbane and Phuket.

AMA (WA) president Andrew Miller said the flu season hit later than expected, resulting in a three-year high in flu cases for this time of year.

“Following a recent surge in influenza notifications over the past fortnight, we urge all West Australians to speak to their GP about getting the flu jab,” Dr Miller said.

“Given that it takes a couple of weeks after vaccination for full immunity to develop, people who are not vaccinated should do the right thing and get onto it quickly.”

He said it was important immunisation rates were high enough for ‘herd immunity’ to be effective, so the most vulnerable in the community are protected including the elderly, Indigenous Australians, the chronically ill, pregnant women and infants.

Dr Miller said each year thousands of Australians die from the flu.